Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 07:42

Casio Baby G Review

About two years ago, I needed a new watch. I'd been through several in a very short time, and I was getting really annoyed with cheap watches that just don't last - or watches with straps which don't last, and cost more than the watch to replace. So I decided to go back to Casio - deciding to pay for quality. I got a Baby G, since I need a digital watch, with day/date, 24 hour clock, and alarm - and you don't get many lady's watches that do that.

Well. I guess I can't say that they're crap, since I've only had one (unlike the Logitech Bluetooth headphones for the iPod, where I had 3 and none of them worked). It could just be that through the luck of the draw, I got a bad watch. But this watch is really bad, and Casio customer service here in SA isn't any better.

It started just before the 1 year warranty period was up. For no reason, the watch would suddenly go "beeeeeeep". But nothing else happened, and it only did it very rarely, so I wasn't too bothered. Then the display started fading. Rarely, only about once a month or so, and shaking the watch or pressing on the face would bring it back. I emailed Casio's reps in SA, and they said it sounded like the battery was flat. This didn't really make sense to me, since it would carry on working just fine afterwards, but they were adamant that it was the battery.

At about 18 months, the battery did go flat. The watch didn't fade, it just went dead. Now I'm not really impressed with a watch battery that dies after 18 months - my first Casio lasted for 10 years - but what can you do, so I had it replaced. Not to my suprise, a few days later the display started fading again, proving that it wasn't the battery. It's happening a lot more frequently lately, and pressing on the face doesn't work so well any more, to stop the fading - what works best is pressing a button. Any button. Except that recently I've noticed a rapid "clickclickclick" or "bzzzzz" sound when I press a button. And four times now the watch has spontaneously reset itself, losing all the time, date, timezone, and all those settings (I was using the memory function it has to store a couple of passwords - after the first reset I never bothered to set them up again). Once it just started flashing - every single LCD element flashed - and I had to push a button, any button, to get it to come right. And I just can't live with a watch that I can't rely on.

I can't even use the alarm function at all - either the display fades as the alarm triggers, and the beeps fade too, or, as now, the watch resets itself as soon as I try to change the time the alarm is set for!

I contacted Casio's reps in SA again, and started a long discussion with them which still hasn't been resolved - it's been impossible to get a straight answer out of them. All I want to know is: (1) how long might it take to fix, (2) will there be any cost to me (since they were wrong about the battery when I first contacted them, and (3) if there is a cost, how much might it be (since I don't want to pay more to fix the watch than the watch cost in the first place).

This is just so not the quality I expected from Casio. Nor the level of customer service I expected. So now I'm stuck - do I get the watch repaired, and at what cost? Do I give up and buy a new watch, but what brand?

Update: I finally received a reply, saying that they won't charge me for the repair, they just want to figure out what's wrong with the watch. Still don't know how long I'll be without a watch for, but at least it's progress :-)


At 2/1/10 01:14, Blogger effee said...

Most digital watches made in recent years are junk. I have a casio that I paid about $50 for that does the spontaneous reset thing. Happens 2 or three times/yr., have to reset everything-very tedious. Had a timex ironyman-some display segments missing by the time the first battery was just about done. Paid about $80 for that one and had to throw it away. They're all junk. Might as well flush your money down the toilet.


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